Lifehacker shared the article, The Stupid Things You Do Online (and How to Fix Them) where they addressed 8 common online mistakes that people often make and never realize. Below we summarized some of the careless and often over looked mistakes of many that are made everyday.
Undervaluing Your Personal Data
Social media sites and Search Engines like Facebook and Google collect data and information from you. This is used to help improve your experience and target ads that are most relevant to you. They are able to do this by gathering data from your most recent search history. However, sometimes these ads can get a little pesky. Don’t worry though, because there are ways to protect your privacy. You just need to make sure your privacy settings are always up to date and adjusted frequently to restrict sharing of certain information.
Submitting Sensitive Information Over an Insecure Connection
Before you ever submit sensitive information such as social security or credit card numbers always remember to check the URL bar in your browser for the word HTTPS at the beginning of the URL. Commonly it says HTTP but for a secure network it must say HTTPS.
Feeding the Trolls
This common mistake refers to internet arguments. Feeding trolls often occurs on social networks or on discussion boards. Lifehacker describes that trolls attack out of boredom not for personal reasons. So next time before you type just remember that this person has nothing else better to do then just to aggravate people. Don’t give in.
Leaving Private Information in Your Web Browser
We use our computer a lot so it seems normal to just leave all of our private information up and accounts logged into. But sometimes we let other people borrow them for a second or maybe even just leave the room for a few minutes. Someone casually browsing on your internet can stumble upon a heap of information. Anything from weird searches to purchases. Keep a password on your computer or even clear your history. This is the best way to keep your private information private.
Not Keeping a Backup of Online Data
You can lose your data at any time. So it is extremely important to have it backed up and saved else where in case you are faced with a loss. Not only is it important to keep your data backed up but it is extremely important to have your data saved elsewhere if it is out of your possession. Take MegaUpload for example, they were seized by the government. Services like Dropbox can back up your data for you. For photos and videos, you can keep them backed up on a hard drive.
Assuming Your Posts and Comments are Anonymous
Whenever you post something on the internet expect it to remain there for a while. Even if you do delete it. See our post Deleted Facebook Photos Still Available. This is especially important because your online reputation can be dramatically affected later on down the road. Colleges and Employers’ only impression of you before meeting you is based off of your social networking profiles. Even if you think you are private, anonymous, or decide to post under a fake name, it can still be traced back to you in some way. See Managing Your E-Reputation and Potential Employers Check Social Networks More Often Than You Think.
Letting People Track Your Whereabouts
Applications and websites where you check into places like Foursquare are a stalkers/robbers fantasy. It gives them all of the information they need. They know when you’re gone and can almost predict how much time they have to rob your home when you’re out. While there are benefits to having these applications you can change your settings private so it isn’t shared publicly and everyone knows where you are.
Using an Insecure Password That You Rarely (or Never) Change
Out of all the mistakes, this may be the biggest one. Most people stick to the most basic passwords because of how easy they are to remember. Yes, exactly. They are easy for you and everyone else to remember and figure out. But with a strong passwords you lessen your chances of getting hacked. Think of a phrase, add a number, phone number, upper case, etc. All of these are a great way to strengthen your password.